Tributes paid to F1 legend Michael Schumacher on 50th birthday
F1 legend Michael Schumacher “shaped and changed the sport forever” says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, as tributes are paid to the seven-time world champion on his 50th birthday.
The German is the most successful F1 driver and won a record 91 Grands Prix.
In 2013 he suffered serious head injuries in a skiing accident and has not been seen in public since.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” his familysaid in a statement on Wednesday.
The former Ferrari driver is being treated at his home in Switzerland, but little is known about his recovery.
Schumacher made his debut with Jordan in 1991, before joining Benetton, where he won back-to-back drivers’ championships in 1994 and 1995.
A move to Ferrari in 1996 culminated in an unprecedented period of success, winning five successive titles from 2000-04.
He briefly retired in 2006, but returned with Mercedes in 2010 for three seasons, before retiring for a second time.
“Not only did he [Michael] set an incredible record – a record that is yet to be beaten – but he also shaped and changed the sport forever,” said Wolff.
“As a driver, Michael took F1 to a whole new level with his attention to detail and his technical knowledge.
“He did everything with great determination, from his engineering debriefs to his physical training, and was always searching for new ways to improve his on-track performance.”
Although he never won a race with Mercedes, Wolff credits Schumacher with being “one of the founding fathers of the success we have had in the last five years” which has seen the team win five consecutive titles.
Schumacher’s family have released the Official Michael Schumacher App, which will be a “virtual museum” of the driver’s achievements, while Ferrari haveopened a special exhibitionat their museum in Italy.